But first, coffee. Or else.
But first, coffee. Or else. (Photo: Brendan Leonard)

I Must Have My Coffee First Thing in the Morning

Lest the world suffer my wrath


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If I don’t have coffee immediately upon waking up, I cannot function in any capacity that a human being is supposed to function. I cannot work, I cannot communicate with other sentient beings, I cannot be friendly or even reasonable. I am essentially a houseplant until I have had this magical bitter bean water stimulant to which I have been addicted for the majority of my adult life. I am a houseplant, but also a tiger.

Before I have performed my daily sacred coffee-drinking ritual, I certainly cannot be expected to not maim or kill other people or animals in fits of unprovoked murderous rage. Give me coffee, or face severe consequences.

You of course know what I’m talking about. Perhaps you have at one time or another shared a meme that contained the phrase “but first, coffee,” or you own a t-shirt with that phrase on it, gifted to you by a friend or relative who understands or at least tolerates your intolerance for all other life forms in the minutes before you have consumed water filtered through ground coffee beans. Perhaps you, like me, have that phrase tattooed on your neck in block letters.

I will have coffee immediately upon exiting my sleeping quarters, before I perform any other tasks that require even the feeblest amount of brain activity. I will not brush my teeth, I will not turn on lights, I will not urinate. How could it be demanded of me that I manage to do something as involved as peeing before I’ve had coffee? This is 2018. If my entire day were made into a to-do list, “coffee” would be number one on that list, followed by everything else that, let’s be honest, is not going to fucking happen unless I drink coffee first.

If my house caught fire in the middle of the night and my spouse were to wake me up and demand that we flee the building immediately lest we perish in flames, I would tell my spouse I wouldn’t go anywhere until I’d had a decent cup of coffee. I would stand there as tongues of fire licked the walls around me and the kitchen filled with smoke and I would brew my coffee with my eyes mostly closed, and when it was finished I would pour it into a cup, take a sip, and then shuffle out of the house.

Perhaps you have seen action movies in which a character violently destroys another human being, a group of human beings, an entire civilization, or an entire planet, for one reason or another. No matter what the reason, when I watch movies and there is an incredible amount of death and destruction being doled out by a character, I always nod in understanding, and in my head, say, “That’s me before I’ve had coffee.”

It’s true. Liam Neeson in Taken, kicking the shit out of everyone who gets in his way as he tries to get his kidnapped daughter back? Me, except replace “kidnapped daughter” with “coffee.” Charlize Theron annihilating everyone who messes with her in Atomic Blonde? Me, just because I haven’t had coffee yet and something is in my way. The Starkiller Base superweapon destroying five planets in Star Wars: The Force Awakens? You get the picture. Good guys, bad guys, it doesn’t matter. I relate, because when it comes to coffee, anything that gets in my way is a bad guy, and I will resort to any means necessary to get that coffee.

I’m not a monster, or a bad person. I very simply need my coffee, immediately. So please understand this and stay out of my way, or prepare to die.


Lead Photo: Brendan Leonard

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